Turkish Cabdriver in Berlin

Very most probably I will be in Istanbul at the time of posting this article but it is being written in Berlin, at the airport to be precise.

This time , instead of dishing out advices and pouring my poison into the blog about how inconvenient life can be in Istanbul, I rather want to tell about a very recent experience with a cab driver today in the ealy morning hour.

Luckily (see, I am not attacking anything at all! ) I had a turkish cab driver taking me from my place to the airport. You can not choose your cab driver here, you call and they come. This time I had a turkish one. The ride from my place to the airport costs about 17 Euros and I know this very well because I am kinda lazy when I have to travel and I love to get this feeling of travelling in style which of course begins with a cab ride.

The taxi driver is pretty friendly, if not way too curious, I am being flattered about my very good turkish (hello? I am turkish, it should be really good!), questions flow in various directions, starting from my professional life over where I actually come from to my personal life. Some are questions I would love to skip but hey I should be having a ball being questioned, right? All in all it is a common issue, my way of spending the evenings with girls I meet in the city.

I realize that we are driving a funny route but keep silent. Then some time later we arrive at the airport and the cabmeter shows 34 Euros. That’s kinda twice the price I should actually be paying.

The funny part is that it is always painful telling someone about their lack of professionality and their misbehaving. I gather all my courage and say that this ride costs about 17 Euros, let’s say 20 at most. The cab driver says I am wrong, I insist. I take out my cellular to call the taxi station and the cab driver makes an attemp to avoid my complaint and makes an irresistable offer: 30 Euros ! I look at him and try to figure out if he can’t understand my point. He says 30 is a very good price for a ride to the airport. I dial the number.

On the phone, there is a young lady working for the cab company’s call center, she is german. I tell her where I started and where my ride ended and ask for the price. I was wrong… But so was the cab driver, too. the ride costs about 15,40 Euros. I ask her if she could clear it up with the driver to which she agrees and they start a funny conversation while the woman tells him that she could almost imagine which route he drove while telling him that he is supposed to get 16 Euros only. After a long discussion on my cellular phone, the conversation ends and I get my phone back.

The cab driver looks at me and takes 16 bucks off my hand, almost ripping them off and says :

“We, Turks, should be sticking more to each other, you know! What you have done was not nice at all!”

Mind you, his face wasn’t even red while telling me that. I get my luggage and head for the airport.

Now this doesn’t happen to me in Istanbul.

But if it would happen, there is no number you could call ;)

PS. perhaps there is a number you could call… Prove me wrong !

7 Comments so far

  1. Sven Holmström (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 7:52 am

    While my parents visited Istanbul they got badly ripped off twice by cab drivers. But in another way. Twice the following happened:

    May father gave the driver a bill (10 respectively 20YTL) and then turned to his wallet to get the rest. Then the driver hides the note and pick a useless note of old liras, I think it was a 250 000 note in both cases and complains about it.

    One of the driver did this at the same time as he took a far too large price.

    My own experience is quite far from this, though. I have been forced to use cabs quite much during my six months here and I have never been cheated. But then I never use cabs in the touristic parts, almost only in Sariyer. The prices are are quite precisely the same from time to time.

  2. Mert Ulas (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 10:35 am

    Ahah I believe the turks outside the country tries to rip off other turks all the time.
    When I first arrived in US, i needed a phone charger because of electrical plug standard difference. So I went into a mall and found a cart where they sell phone batteries, I told the guy the model of my phone and he said “give him the high price” to his assistant in turkish and turned to me and said his assistant would help me. I said “well I want the regular price if you don’t mind” in turkish so he blushed and tried to convince me that I got it all wrong. Yeah right :) Bought the same charger for one third price from Ebay.

  3. metecem (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    then people ask me why I dont have any turkish friends in germany :D

    I hope I wont be shouted at because of this piece of writing because it is not directly related to istanbul :D

  4. erato (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 9:08 pm

    hey. me again – the neighbour..
    because i wrote so many nice things about istanbul last time, i have to set a record straight!
    i got way too robed by taxi drivers in istanbul at summer.as soon as they understood i was a foreigner (easy, as i don;t speak turkish) they went off asking any amount they thought i should pay. but then again i’ve heard that our taxidrivers do that with foreigners as well, in Athens…

  5. metecem (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 9:48 am

    to be frank I remember paying almost a fortune in Athens while driving from the center (where all those cool cafes are) to my hotel (which was about 10 min on foot)….

    but I was kinda ready for that, knowing no greek ;)

  6. Selma Mirza (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

    I thought all taxis in Istanbul had meters one could refer to, to check the fare? Taxi drivers here try to rip passengers too, espcially the non-Indian looking ones. But there is the taxi-meter to refer to, and it gives the accurate fare!

  7. Selma Mirza (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

    Oh, the incident happened in Berlin. My bad.

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